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Starro (a.k.a. Starro the Conqueror) is a supervillain who appears in stories published by DC Comics. Starro, who comes from an alien race known as the Star Conquerors, is a starfish-like creature who first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #28 in 1960, which was also the first appearance of the Justice League of America.
Starro, whose ambitions are for the conquest of the Earth, would make several more appearances over the following decades. In his efforts, Starro uses mind control and the rapid reproduction of psychic-parasitic Cloning|clones to conquer planets (Starro controls people by placing one of these small clones over the victim's face).
A plot by Starro resulted in the creation of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew on Earth-C, the setting of DC's funny animal stories. Starro hatched a devolution plan and was beaming energy to Metropolis which caused citizens to act like apes. During an investigation by Superman, the energy struck a meteorite and sent fragments of the meteor and Superman to Earth-C. The fragments of the meteor landed on this alternate earth, and gave super powers to Captain Carrot, Pig-Iron, Rubberduck, Alley-Kat-Abra, Yankee Poodle and Fastback. With the aid of Superman, this group of heroes discovered Starro operating on that universe's version of Pluto. Starro was defeated by the Zoo Crew, which chose to remain together after Starro and Superman returned to their own universe.
One of Starro's many appearances on Earth seemingly ended with it convincing the Justice League that it simply wished to repair its ship and return to space. Assisted by the ex-Green Lantern Kilowog, the ship was finally fixed and it rocketed into the sky. It exploded in midair, releasing many thousands of mini-Starros that fell over Western Europe. All of this was part of Starro's plan. Much of the Justice League, including Captain Atom and Rocket Red, escaped the original onslaught and formed a resistance movement. The members possessed various immunities to the controlling aliens, such as Atom's 'skin' and Red's armor. They attempted to track down the 'controlling' Starro with the aid of Martian Manhunter. Their plan failed, however, as the controlling entity took over Martian Manhunter. The resistance movement fell apart when Starro threatened the members' loved ones, who were already under Starro's control. The resistance surrendered and were placed under Starro's control. Starro then contacted the Justice League members in America. He again threatened innocents if they did not submit to him via the teleportation tubes. Ice confronted Martian Manhunter and, before she could be taken over, she froze the entity controlling him and the invasion was neutralized.
Starro was featured in the JLA/Avengers crossover|crossover by George Pérez and Kurt Busiek. In it Starro appeared in the Marvel Universe and attacked its Earth, controlling the The Avengers until Scarlet Witch was deliberately put under its control, where her Chaos Magic disrupted its desire for calm and order, forcing it to flee into space in pain and terror.
In the Countdown tie-in Captain Carrot and the Final Ark (October 2007) by Bill Morrison and Scott Shaw, Starro returns to the Zoo Crew's Earth-C (newly re-classified as Earth-26 after the events in "52" ) to spark a growing conflict between the land and the sea creatures. Although the Zoo Crew confronts the alien, he defeats them and renders them powerless. Furthermore, Starro induces a flood to make Earth uninhabitable and the Crew has an ocean liner loaded with refugees that is transported off the planet by another animal superhero team, the Just'a Lotta Animals. In order to save the refugees, Pig Iron tackles Starro and is last seen grappling the alien in the water while the refugees on the ship make their escape from that world, as per the superhero's wishes.
Cloned and bred versions
Another version of Starro was the micro-organism "Starro virus" which, although not actually a virus, was used as a biological weapon by a foreign dictator to attack the JLA in the JLA Classified comic.
Starro has also made a kind of cameo in the new Justice League of America series. Being attached to the likes of Trident, Dr. Impossible, Plastique and Electrocutioner, Starro was a means to control the villains so to acquire various components for Professor Ivo and Solomon Grundy. It was revealed that these Starros were cybernetic in origin and it is not known whether or not they originate from the Starro race. In JLA #6, Ivo was seen being chased by a Starro, who claimed the professor had "hurt the colony".
A probe of the real Starro resurfaces in Teen Titans #51, controlling Brimstone, Blackbriar Thorn (referred to as "the Druid King"), Scorch, Rampage, Livewire and Prometheus. It is revealed that this Starro probe intends to join the Sinestro Corps. In Teen Titans #54, it is shown wielding five Sinestro Corps rings. It is frozen and shattered by the future version of the Flash. The Sinestro Corps Secret Files #1 confirms that this Starro probe was a member of the Sinestro Corps.
The Star Conqueror
During Grant Morrison's run on JLA, the team twice faced a different member of Starro's race; this member was much larger, colored green rather than purple, and was known simply as "the Star Conqueror" or "It" (but frequently referred to as "Starro" outside the comic page. When it first appeared, it took control of the Flash and countless innocents in Blue Valley, Flash's home town. Its intent was to capture and control the rest of the JLA when they arrive and use them to form a galaxy-conquering army. However, the Spectre warns the JLA about this, and they thus convince the Spectre to briefly remove their powers for the battle. While the rest of the team keeps the Star Conqueror's slaves distracted, Batman, the only team member with no powers anyway, immobilizes the Flash and drives the Star Conqueror away.
In its second appearance, this creature manipulates the dream worlds of the people under its control, putting practically the entire American continent to sleep and controlling them. Apart from those who had already been exposed to the creature in its previous attack (Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and the population of Blue Valley), the only people still awake were Wonder Woman (Hippolyta), who was on the moon, Orion, who was on New Genesis at the time, and Zauriel, who never slept anyway. Aided by the Lord of the Dreaming, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern confronted the creature on the dream plane, while Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and Orion confront the creature's physical manifestation, resulting in them driving the creature away from Earth while the Dream Lord imprisons the creature's mental self. This group was assisted in its efforts by the mental strength of a homeless man caught in the middle of the psychic battle.
- Starro makes an implied appearance (his name is never stated) in the last panels of Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier. In the final panel of the graphic novel, Starro's original appearance on the cover of The Brave and The Bold Issue #28 has been modified to an oceanic setting, though he is still battling Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman, who are all more or less in their original configuration.DC: The New Frontier Vol. 2
- In Tangent Comics (on Earth-9) there is a restaurant called Starro's.
In other media
- Starro made his first appearance in other media in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure episode called "In Captain Cuda's Clutches." In that episode, the villainous Captain Cuda and Starro invade an undersea kingdom of Jewel people, and plan to steal from them, but Aquaman stops them.
- Starro appeared in the 2000s animated series Batman Beyond, in the two-part episode "The Call" (after first being seen as a cameo in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Main Man"). It was one of the alien species in the Fortress of Solitude which Superman had taken from The Preserver's zoo of endangered animals, and it had taken over Superman for some time. While attached to Superman, it had begun to conquer Earth and it created more of its species. It was eventually defeated by Batman and the Justice League Unlimited when they transported it back to its home planet. This Starro has the original purple appearance of the first Starro, but the mind control powers of the later incarnation. (Note--Although this star creature was never actually referred to as Starro by name, Bruce Timm stated in his audio commentary for "The Main Man" Part Two on the Superman: TAS DVD, that the star creature is in fact, Starro)
- Starro also appeared in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier where he is seen fighting the Justice League at the end of the film.